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Top 5 Heresies Among American Evangelicals

American evangelicals’ grasp on theology is slipping, and more than half affirmed heretical views of God in the 2022 State of Theology survey, released by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research.

Overall, adults in the U.S. are moving away from orthodox understandings of God and his Word year after year. More than half of the country (53%) now believes Scripture “is not literally true,” up from 41 percent when the biannual survey began in 2014.

Researchers called the rejection of the divine authorship of the Bible the “clearest and most consistent trend” over the eight years of data. Researchers wrote, “This view makes it easy for individuals to accept biblical teaching that they resonate with while simultaneously rejecting any biblical teaching that is out of step with their own personal views or broader cultural values.”

Here are five of the most common mistaken beliefs held by evangelicals:

1. Jesus isn’t the only way to God. 56 percent of evangelical respondents affirmed that “God accepts the worship of all religions.” This answer indicates a bent toward universalism—believing there are ways to bypass Jesus in our approach to and acceptance by God.

2. Jesus was created by God. 73 percent agreed with the statement that “Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.” This is a form of Arianism, a popular heresy that arose in the early fourth century.

3. Jesus is not God. 43 percent affirmed that “Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God,” which is another form of Arian heresy.

4. The Holy Spirit is not a personal being. 60 percent of the evangelical survey respondents believe that “The Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being.”

5. Humans aren’t sinful by nature. 57 percent also agreed to the statement that “Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.” In other words, humans might be capable of committing individual sins, but we do not have sinful natures. This denies the doctrine of original sin.

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